Potsdam’s Tobacco Cessation Center offers a quitting smoking plan for 2012

Tobacco Cessation Center of NNY

Let’s make our community healthier and save lives by quitting smoking in 2012.

St. Lawrence County has one of the highest smoking prevalence rates in the state at 25%, whereas, the state average is at it’s all time lowest at 16%. As you know, tobacco use is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. It accounts for at least 30% of all cancer deaths, as well 87% of lung cancer deaths, which in 2012 will total about 157,000. Tobacco use also increases the risk for cancers of the mouth, lips, nasal cavity, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterus, cervix, colon/rectum, ovary, and acute myeloid leukemia.

Therefore, as 2011 comes to a close and the New Year approaches let’s make a plan to quit smoking and become a healthier community in St. Lawrence County.

Here is a plan to follow:

1. Think of your plan to quit smoking as a project, a process that will take time and not one that is a snap decision or that will take only a few days. Remember you are embarking on a journey to change a behavior or habit that took many years to develop, however do not give up because you can do it!

2. Make a list of all the reasons you would like to quit smoking, such as: your health, family/ friends, money etc.-and keep that list in your pocket at all times and take it out every time you are tempted to smoke (laminate the list).

3. Decide on a quit date. However, make sure your quit date is not during a stressful time.

4. Tell your family, friends and co-workers your plan to quit and ask for their support.

5. Talk to your physician about your plan to quit and discuss with them whether one of the seven FDA approved medications for quitting might be the most useful for you. Also, you may contact the NY Smokers’ Quit line at 1-866-697-8487 or www.nysmokefree.com.

6. In the days before your quit date, clean out your car, house and workplace of all extra packs of cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters, matches and anything that might tempt you to smoke.

7. On the quit day call your family and friends and let them know the big day has arrived and ask them for support.

8. Be prepared for some of the immediate side effects of quitting such as: headache, light headedness, anxiety, nausea, irritability, unable to sleep, unable to concentrate, etc.

9. If you slip, don’t give up! Look at the situation that caused your slip and adjust your routine, so you are not in that situation for a couple of months to avoid the danger of slipping again.

10. Remember this is a journey of a lifetime and you will need support from your family and friends.

Benefits of quitting smoking! After you smoke your last cigarette, within in 20 minutes, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years.

• 20 minutes after quitting your blood pressure drops, blood begins to flow more smoothly and your heart rate drops.

• 12 hours after quitting the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal and your brain starts to receive the oxygen that is has been deprived of while smoking.

• 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting your heart attack risk begins to drop and your lung function begins to improve.

• 1 to 9 months after quitting your coughing and shortness of breath will decrease.

• 1 year after quitting your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.

• 5 years after quitting your risk of suffering a stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s 5-15 years after quitting.

• 10 years after quitting your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s and your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.

• 15 years after quitting the risk of heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker’s.

Did you know that more American’s died last year from smoking related diseases then all the Americans that died in WWII?

By BETH GERO

northcountrynow.com

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